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  • Bear Canister post yellow-yellow

    I have a small dilemma. I own a bearvault, and have been waiting for the new yellow-yellow proof model; the BV company owner has generously offered to swap when it's ready. It now looks like that will not be in time for my summer trip to the ADKs. I had planned on biting the bullet and getting a bearikade, but the price has gone up and now they're really expensive. I'm trying to avoid buying a garcia, which I know I will never use once the new BV is out.

    Sooo....now that yellow-yellow is in that great poorly-secured-food-bag-campsite-in-the-sky, what is the status of using the BV in the high peaks? Any problems reported? I strongly suspect the DEC has not and will not change their policy towards the BV canisters, and I don't blame them. But I'd like to know if there's any evidence that other bears have opened them.

  • #2
    if where me and I only have heard of one bear with this issue and that ones gone, Id take my chances not worry over it...IMO
    ADK 46-R #6750W
    CL-50 - #51
    CATSKILLS- 9/39
    NPT Complete 7-6-13

    Hiking photos

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    • #3
      Using a yellow-yellow-fail BV container poses two risks:

      1) Equally skilled bears discover it.
      2) A DEC ranger discovers it.

      You stand to lose food or win a ticket, maybe both.
      Looking for Views!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
        Using a yellow-yellow-fail BV container poses two risks:

        1) Equally skilled bears discover it.
        2) A DEC ranger discovers it.

        You stand to lose food or win a ticket, maybe both.
        I didnt know they actually ban it...well if thats the case NO, No I would not..rent one from loj or EMS till yours comes in..
        ADK 46-R #6750W
        CL-50 - #51
        CATSKILLS- 9/39
        NPT Complete 7-6-13

        Hiking photos

        Comment


        • #5
          @viewseeker

          In fairness to you, my response was a humorous exaggeration to drive home the point that the BV still retains a "bad rep" that may cause the owner problems in the High Peaks. My comment about the DEC ranger is not based on published DEC regulations. I can't find anything on DEC's website that indicates the BV is not approved for use in the High Peaks! Maybe someone can provide the relevant link. The only thing spelled out is that you cannot use bear-bags; the container must be hard-sided.

          As recently as yesterday, I saw a BV on display at the HPIC with a sign indicating it was not an approved container. The BV's manufacturer suggests their product should not be used in the "Marcy Dam/Lake Colden corridor". I may be wrong but I recall reading accounts of people being warned (not ticketed) that their BV was not approved for use in the High Peaks. Of course, none of this clearly indicates the DEC has banned the use of BV containers.

          If I was the OP, I'd contact a DEC ranger and ask if the BV is acceptable.
          Looking for Views!

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          • #6
            The regs just state it must be a bear resistant container but the BV site says they should not be used in the Marcy dam Lake Colden area because they are not resistant enough as TB stated. I witnessed a ranger inspecting canisters at UW several years ago, he had Garcia's he was renting out to those w/o the proper container.
            Enjoying the journey with my favorite hiking partner.
            Please visit ADKGurl's Blog: 46-High-Peaks

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            • #7
              We got lucky on my first backpacking trip two years ago out of Upper Works. We did a poor job researching and didn't realize we had just entered the time of year that required a canister until we reached the trailhead. We decided to press on and push our luck. I walked by a guy I didn't even realize was a ranger when I was ahead of my friend by maybe a quarter mile and apparently he asked my friend if we had a canister. He lied and said I had it in my pack. Thankfully the ranger decided not to turn back to find me and check. I was annoyed that he did that and it wasn't a great start to the trip, but it ended up being a great three days.

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              • #8
                I think you can rent the Garcia brand at various locations, try:
                Adirondack Mt. Club, Lake George
                Mountaineer, Keene Valley
                EMS in Sarartoga & Lake Placid

                Yellow-Yellow was the ring leader, but I'm told by a ranger that a handful of other bears know how to undo a BV

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dundee View Post
                  Yellow-Yellow was the ring leader, but I'm told by a ranger that a handful of other bears know how to undo a BV
                  I would like to speak with the rangers about this. I spoke with the BV owner today (after posting my initial post) and he told me that DEC rangers recently told him there have been no incidents since yellow-yellow died. What exactly that means, who knows.

                  If there is a documented case of a bear other than yellow-yellow opening a BV canister, that answers my question clearly. If not, then I still have to ponder a bit.

                  I don't believe I would get a ticket for using a BV canister. Even when yellow-yellow was alive, the HPIC was simply loaning garcias to anyone with a BV, and I heard that rangers at the interior outposts were doing the same thing.

                  Eventually I suspect I will end up with a bearikade. It's only money......I can always sell a few personal items or body parts. Anyone want some vintage scuba gear or a functioning kidney?

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                  • #10
                    I own two Bear Vaults (the small and large). I have modified both by drilling 3 or 4 equally spaced holes through the lid and threads, and epoxying a brass nut on the back of each hole, with a matching bolt from the outside. I discussed this with two DEC Rangers, both of whom had no problem at all. They were a bit curious of my design, but after telling them that I was an Engineer, and familiar with the way in which Yellow-Yellow defeated the canisters (she was able to pry open the safety catch), they were more than happy to let me pass. One of the rangers said that he couldn't actually stop me from using a regular BearVault, but after seeing my modifications, was convinced it might work! I've never had it tested in real conditions, but I bet it's as good as any.

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/4505689...7634251708445/

                    I used two part epoxy from the hardware store, that comes in a package with a black plunger to get it out. It's held up for a few years, so far.
                    Last edited by mrMarcyMan; 06-21-2013, 08:21 PM. Reason: Add Pictures

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                    • #11
                      Your mod is a nice idea. I ended up renting a bearikade for the summer. We'll see what the BV guy comes up with for his new design, which he says might be ready in August. It does stand to reason that if one bear can open them, sooner or later others will be able to, unless yellow-yellow was the Einstein of bears.

                      Someone, maybe one of the guys at the mountaineer, told me that it looked like the bear(s) who opened the canister could wedge a tooth or claw in between the lid and jar and just pry it off. That's a little different than the story about the bear depressing the tabs to unscrew the lid. If this is the case, would your bolts hold the lid?

                      I know for a fact that in Yosemite, bears would sometimes send their cubs out on the small branches to retrieve counterbalanced bear bags; I saw it! So maybe a cub could wedge a smaller tooth or claw into the small gap between the lid and jar....who knows.

                      For now, the BV will make an excellent dog food container for the cabin. My dogs are smart....but not that smart.

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                      • #12
                        @mrMarcyMan,
                        I like your mods as well. I don't really like the latches on the Garcia or the BareBoxer. Particularly the Bear Boxer, they are so heavy and overkill.
                        Enjoying the journey with my favorite hiking partner.
                        Please visit ADKGurl's Blog: 46-High-Peaks

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Altbark
                          I hate bear canisters. It's like carrying a two or three pound hammer in your pack for fun.

                          I have a BV 400 for what it's worth. The problem with mods is that the bear will break into the canister if it can hold the canister and hook a claw or tooth on any sort of projection. Bears are very powerful creatures. Al
                          AH! So they are able to rip it apart if they can get a grip on something. I just thought they were able to pull the top off the BVs. I guess I under estimated the strength.
                          Enjoying the journey with my favorite hiking partner.
                          Please visit ADKGurl's Blog: 46-High-Peaks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=halocline;235595]I would like to speak with the rangers about this. I spoke with the BV owner today (after posting my initial post) and he told me that DEC rangers recently told him there have been no incidents since yellow-yellow died. What exactly that means, who knows.

                            If there is a documented case of a bear other than yellow-yellow opening a BV canister, that answers my question clearly. If not, then I still have to ponder a bit.

                            QUOTE]

                            I spoke with a summer ranger a few years ago and he told me that 3-4 other bears, probably YY's offspring, had learned how to get into a BV. I know of no documented proof, maybe those bears have left the HP area? Anyway, just passing the word I got from what should be good authority.

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                            • #15
                              @MrMarcyMan

                              I'm intrigued by your modification (yup, I'm an engineer too). Has the "new and improved" locking system been "field-tested" by any bruins?

                              As a "glass is half-empty" guy (yeah, an engineer) I see a potential problem. Here's my thinking: the four bolts certainly prevent unscrewing the lid but the bolt-holes, drilled in the lid's rim, have removed material thereby compromising the lid's strength in four spots. The lid is now more susceptible to being pried off due to failure of the rim. To my mind, a bear is more likely to use his jaw like a bottle-opener and pry the lid off as oppose to unscrew it.

                              Imagine trying to pry an unmodified lid off the container. It would take significant force to fracture the lid's rim (naturally, the rim's width has been designed to provide sufficient material to resist breakage by a bear). Now drill four holes, one at each cardinal point (as you've done), and dead-center in the rim's width. Now the rim has four perforations that are less resistant to breakage (the hole has potentially reduced the rim's width by 30-50%).

                              Effectively, the modified rim now has four points of failure. Apply a prying force and you now only need to overcome the strength of a substantially narrower rim (at the four bolt-holes). The four bolt-holes have created four "tear-away" quadrants. Break two quadrants and now the lid can be peeled back.

                              Then again, maybe bears prefer to unscrew the lid so it's all good.
                              Looking for Views!

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